The coveted Graduate Job. So much time is spent on finding one that it's easy to forget about what comes after. I moved to London a few months ago after accepting the role of Junior Copywriter at an eCommerce technology company. And as someone who has navigated the Great Graduate Job Hunt and made it to the other side alive, I've learnt a fair few things.
1. You're never the new kid for long
I was so nervous about my first day of work, especially my first 'proper' graduate job. I kept forgetting names and felt way more awkward than I probably was, but I just smiled a lot and after a few days relaxed. Besides, plenty of new people have started since I arrived. I now feel like an old timer and have been showing some of the newbies around. A healthy dose of nerves can be good but they don't last.
2. No role is black and white
I work as part of a sociable, exciting and creative team. It's great fun and a lot of hard work, and I've been pleasantly surprised at how different each day can be. Yes I have my own KPIs and tasks, but I've also worked on a lot of projects that I did not expect. From sourcing a Chinese dragon to brainstorming ideas for a recruitment drive, my job is always throwing new things at me.
3. 'Fake it 'til you make it' actually works
I knew very little about eCommerce before I started my job in the sector. I said as much in my interview, though I asserted that I would eagerly throw myself into learning as much as I could. My boss gave me the advice 'fake it 'til you make it' whilst I was training and the mantra has worked wonders. If you pretend to be confident long enough you start believing it!
4. Enthusiasm will get you everywhere
I'm a recent grad, not Gandhi. But what I lack in experience I've been trying to make up for with enthusiasm and smiling. Chances are, if I'm grinning widely I probably have no idea what I'm doing. But god damn it I'll do it with style. People may disagree with me on this, but I think enthusiasm is possibly the best quality a grad can bring to a new role. I've done a load of great things in my new job but have also made a shed ton of mistakes. Giving it a go and failing is better than being a wet fish.
5. Sometimes cats will stare at you
I'm pretty sure this isn't a universal situation to be in (maybe I'm wrong?) but a cat regularly stares at me through the window while I work. I don't know what deep lesson I can take from this but I thought I should tell someone as it's beginning to scare me.
6. London is awesome
I may be a country lass at heart, but I am thoroughly enjoying moonlighting as a city slicker. There is just so much to do and I bloody love it. Markets, museums, pubs: yes. I have not yet been bored and I don't think I ever could be here. Last week I went on a Sweeney Todd horror walk. Was it weird? Yes. Did I enjoy myself? Hell yes.
7. London is infuriating
Everything costs a bomb, public transport is unreliable and people can be total morons. Pay day is always another week away and the weather can't be trusted. The tube is a nightmare and jeez people do not understand personal space.
8. But I am not, in fact, an idiot
It's depressing as hell being on the job hunt and moving to a new city, no matter how positive other grads seem. But I've made it from job hunter to job getter to life sorter in a few short months (thank heavens) without dying (yet). Maybe in a few months I'll feel differently. But for now, I'm in the right place at the right time doing the right thing. The job hunt is difficult and just not at all fun. But there IS light at the end of the tunnel. FOLLOW THE LIGHT!